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#26

Mackka
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From: Brisbane
Joined: 18 February 2014
Posts: 6,456
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08 September 2021 01:01 pm

I don't think WOW, covers it, but, WOW!
Mackka

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#27

Jemba
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Joined: 29 August 2016
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08 September 2021 01:18 pm

IN THE NICK OF TIME.

One morning, seventy-two years ago, young Charlie Cook was working' at the claim with his father, at Chow Flat. Now where was Chow Flat? Well, it was in the vicinity of Wattle Flat, which is three or four miles from Sofala. The little creek that drained the flat made its way down into Bell's creek, which enters the Turon river below Springs creek, which yielded "Roger's Nugget." I trust that, after all that explanation, Chow Flat will stand out conspicuously as a blind boil on the end of the reader's nose. There are so many creeks and flats associated with mining fields, that one has to be explicit in locating them. Now, let's get back to Charlie. He was in charge of the puddling-tub and cradle, while his father was "kyooting" after some washdirt, so as to save stripping six or eight feet of overburden. The wash was puggy and had to be puddled well before it was put through the cradle.

Things were looking blue with the Cook family where there were ten mouths to feed. The storekeepers at Wattle Flat and Sofala had stopped Dad Cook's credit, which brought things to a crisis that day, seventy-two years agone, when the kyooting was going on. It was just a forlorn hope. Chinamen had worked around the spot, and Chinese rarely leave ground till they've taken the last available speck of gold. Cook carried the washdirt to the boy in buckets, piling the yellow stuff in a heap beside the tub, which the lad was stirring vigorously. Charlie doubted whether they would make a penny weight the whole day.

He was feeling the tucker-pinch at home, and he was gloomy and dull in spirit. Draining off the yellow sludge from the tub, he shovelled the gravel, into the cradle-hopper, and started rocking with his left hand, and ladling water in with his long-handled pot. Rattle, rattle, went the stones, and the fine stuff disappeared gradually through the holes of the hopper. Charlie shovelled in more washdirt. and kept on with his rocking. Thud, thud went his father's pick twenty yards away. The boy seized the hopper, lifted it out, and was about to toss out the stones, when, "Christopher Columbus!" he yelled, as he picked out a beautiful glittering nugget weighing ten ounces! They had Irish stew for supper that night.

Camperdown Chronicle Thursday 16 July 1936

http://newspapers.nla.gov.au/

Mining in the Mount Margaret Goldfield.

1631067408_1.jpg

https://purl.slwa.wa.gov.au/slwa_b4054340_1

Shallow mine shaft, Oaks Goldfield, Queensland

1631067440_hall_nqp_i_run0246_nqid502_lg.jpg

https://nqheritage.jcu.edu.au/150/


"Gold, ... Bright and yellow, hard and cold, Molten, graven, hammered or roll'd, Heavy to get and light to hold: Stolen, honored, bought and sold, Pride of many a mine untold."

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#28

Jemba
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Joined: 29 August 2016
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09 September 2021 09:24 am

DIGGING FOR GOLD

WHEN the regiment first moved into an old gold mining area, “the gunners were highly enthusiastic about digging sanitary and ammunition pits. It made your blood tingle to think that maybe the next shovel full of clay would uncover a second “Welcome Nugget.” But the gold fever burned itself out within two days when not’ even a color was found. And it stayed out for two months until a whisper went round that Joe Shropper, generally known as “The Boy from . Bendigo,” had something up his sleeve.

Now Joe had often boasted about the gold he had unearthed in his home town, and memories of his tall stories came crowding back into our minds. If gold was to be found, Joe was the boy to do the trick. Every gunner in camp ‘ tried to get beside Shropper and the Battery Sar-Major almost went out of his way to be kind to him,, especially when he heard that Joe had a parcel of something locked in his kit bag. When – excitement reached fever pitch, Joe let it be known that he would make a statement in the gunners’ mess one evening. Everyone turned up, including the orderly officer in case a riot might occur. Someone called for silence, and Joe stood up on a table. For a few suspenseful seconds he was silent. His fingers went into his shirt pocket. We held our breaths. Joe held up a lump of rock to which was attached a lump of gold as big as your little finger-nail. “Gold!” we all said. “Reckon I’ve unearthed the mother lode which was lost 50 years ago,” declared Joe. “Where is it?” we shouted. “Ah!” said Joe and went to move off. . But we forced him to stay on the table. “OK,” he declared. “I won’t be greedy. I’ll float a small company with 30 shareholders at a quid a head. Then we’ll split the profits. Anyone wanting a share come to my tent in the morning.”

A crowd of us turned up to find Joe waiting with the articles of association of the ‘ Joe Shropper Mother Load No Liarbillytee.” Joe was to be general manager, secretary, treasurer and board of directors. He was to receive £30 cash for his rights, and all gold won was to be shared equally between the 30 shareholders and himself. “Why can’t some of us be on the board of directors?” queried Charlie the old gunner. “If you ain’t satisfied with the terms you can nick off,” - said Joe “ rudely. “I’m only letting you ‘ave shares as a favor.” OK, Joe, no offence, Charlie cooed. We all signed a paper to the effect that we agreed with Joe’s terms, and paid over our quids. Sunday, being rest day, was selected as the moment we should attack the mother lode and tear a fortune from it. Good old Joe! By dawn light we followed the general manager to a hole in the’ river bank and watched in admiration as he marked out strips around the hole where we were to dig. At midday we were down six feet and picking at solid rock. Joe was shouting, “Throw me up samples, boys,” and studying bits of brown stone with a magnifying glass like a government geologist.

By four o’clock even Joe had to admit that we hadn’t found, an Eldorado. “It’s funny,” he declared mournfully, “I’d have staked my life I’d found the lode after digging out that gold I showed you. Still, it can’t be helped. , You know what goldmining is. Either your luck’s in or it’s out. This time it’s out.” “But what about our £30?” growled Charlie the old gunner. “Well, now.” declared Joe. “Fair go. You risked it knowingly and you lost it.” He waved his hands in the air. Charlie looked hard at the waving hands and said a very rude word. “Say, Shropper,” he shouted, “where’s that gold ring you used to wear?” Joe went pale and muttered: “I lost it a few days ago.” “You melted It down and stuck it in the rock,” roared Charlie. Joe tried to bolt, but we collared him, administered summary justice, and from his belt took that which was our own. We let him keep our contracts.

By “SMITH’S” STAFF REPORTER

Smith's Weekly (Sydney, NSW : 1919 - 1950)

1631139880_nla.obj-135679994-1.jpg

http://newspapers.nla.gov.au/

Last edited by Jemba (09 September 2021 09:25 am)


"Gold, ... Bright and yellow, hard and cold, Molten, graven, hammered or roll'd, Heavy to get and light to hold: Stolen, honored, bought and sold, Pride of many a mine untold."

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#29

Mackka
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From: Brisbane
Joined: 18 February 2014
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09 September 2021 12:08 pm

Another great story Jemba. Is it true that the Chinese gold buyers put a thin layer of honey on one set of scales and would re weigh it again on another set, thus keeping the small amount on the first set and paying on the second?

Mackka

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#30

Jemba
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Joined: 29 August 2016
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09 September 2021 04:43 pm

Your spot on Mackka, not only the Chinese but others as well, they all had a go at it. That practice was called a certain name but for the life of me, I just cant think of what it was called. ???


"Gold, ... Bright and yellow, hard and cold, Molten, graven, hammered or roll'd, Heavy to get and light to hold: Stolen, honored, bought and sold, Pride of many a mine untold."

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#31

Mike678
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Joined: 21 October 2019
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09 September 2021 05:15 pm

1631167998_img_0941.jpg

A good book . ISBN 0 85902 312 5 First published 1982 .

An original album by S.T. Gill .

Last edited by Mike678 (09 September 2021 05:16 pm)


MWB 1989 All ready to go ......

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#32

grubstake
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From: Perth, WA
Joined: 20 October 2014
Posts: 3,100
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09 September 2021 06:24 pm

Jemba wrote:

Your spot on Mackka, not only the Chinese but others as well, they all had a go at it. That practice was called a certain name but for the life of me, I just cant think of what it was called. ???

I've also read of gold buyers weighing fines, who ran their hands through their greasy hair or a well-oiled beard, before carefully raking the fines with their fingers 'to ensure that no stone was included' and so accumulated fine gold powder/dust in their hair/beard and on their hands for later careful washing and panning.


Where it is, there it is.

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#33

Mackka
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From: Brisbane
Joined: 18 February 2014
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09 September 2021 06:41 pm

Yes what was the term for that practice?
Mackka

#34

Jemba
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Joined: 29 August 2016
Posts: 502
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09 September 2021 07:21 pm

G's I wish I could remember the old slang word used to describe it, it has been years and years since I heard it. .... bloody old age it sucks. sad


"Gold, ... Bright and yellow, hard and cold, Molten, graven, hammered or roll'd, Heavy to get and light to hold: Stolen, honored, bought and sold, Pride of many a mine untold."

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#35

Mackka
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From: Brisbane
Joined: 18 February 2014
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09 September 2021 07:33 pm

I will know it when i hear it mate.
Mackka

#36

Jemba
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Joined: 29 August 2016
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10 September 2021 11:13 am

Dry-blowing for Gold

By JACKSON J. DOUGHTY

“The lure of gold,” some folk call it; but it is more than that it is the lure of living. Those who have never "chased the pennyweight” with a dry-blowing machine in Western Australia cannot know the sense of peace and divine freedom that comes of warm, sunny days in the out-of-doors — days spent in health-giving toil that is not work at all, but only a splendid game of hide-and-seek, with fortune ever within grasp but seldom quite caught up with; a winking, smiling, beckoning jade, luring one on, scattering clues in the shape of dull-gleaming gold specks that cause the eyes to sparkle and the pulses to quicken, and hint at dreams coming true in the next shovelful of wash dirt. It used to be known as "desert country,” that vast fenceless tableland extending east of Southern Cross to Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie and beyond, and that term may still apply to it, for it is without rivers or creeks, and its lakes are salt, the source of its water-supply being Mundaring Weir, four hundred miles away!

Parallel with the railway that links up the outback with the closely populated coastal areas marches the Coolgardie Pipe Line, conveying a ceaseless flow of fresh water to the goldfields’ towns. Enough for human and animal consumption, enough to make gardens bloom and parks green and shady, enough to work the crushing mills that rumble night and day; but not enough to enable the alluvial gold seeker at work in some distant gum-clad gully or wide saltbush flat to employ a sluice box or a cradle after the methods followed by gold-hunters in other parts of the world. For him the dry panning, the shaker, and the "blower.” But, scanty though the rainfall may be, though brown and grassless the ground between the blue-grey saltbush and the thorny desert plants, the panorama is none the less green —a vast, billowing sea of vegetation, with tall gums rising out of the flats and dense thickets of smooth-barked gimlet saplings hugging the slopes; tea-trees scattering shade on the bare, iron stone knobs of miniature ranges; here a stretch of yellow sand dotted with dry tufts of spinifex grass that one knows better than to sit upon. Rough going in places for this old runabout truck of mine, with the spindly-framed dry-blower standing high beside the water drums, and the tucker boxes, mining gear and camp equipment rattling as we go! But there, on that long, narrow flat that comes sweeping out of the diorite hills, we shall dig a hole. The day is early yet; by noon we ought to bottom. It depends on the nature and depth of the ground, of course, but here in Western Australia "deep leads” are the exception rather than the rule, and in the majority of cases the richest patches of gold have been found quite close to the surface. This flat The author and his dry-blower. may have ten or twelve feet of overburden covering the "country” bottom; we may find some of the layers of soil tough picking, too; but there’s no hurry. This little slip of stiffened paper called a Miner’s Right, which anybody can buy for five shillings from any mining registrar, enables me to go where I like, when and how I like, and take possession of any bit of ground that pleases my fancy simply by erecting four pegs at the corners of my claim. Once those stakes are in, I am undisputed owner of it —mineral rights, timber rights, water rights, building rights, and every other right. I can give it away or sell it, or simply abandon it when ever I choose; but the King himself is powerless to put me off it if I wish to stay and work it.


But we are not going to trouble about pegging a claim on this fiat — not yet. Time enough for that if we strike anything worth while. Now let us consider. It is a pretty safe bet that this was a nice sort of river about a million years ago. And it is quite on the cards that that ridge of schist, which forms one edge of the flat for some distance and carries a trace of gold all of its length, once rose up to ten or twenty times its present height and was possibly yellow with encrusted gold. Since then there have been earthquakes, sea-immersions, and all manner of changes. But what happened to the gold? Gold does not corrode or evaporate or get blown away. Gold remains. As the ridge wore away with the passage of time, the pieces of freed gold would slip gradually down the slope to the river, there to be washed against bars and into pockets, to lodge and remain while the river dried up and became this flat we are looking at. So we are not going to sink our hole in any haphazard fashion. We are going to see this flat as the river it might have been. We are going to watch the swirls and eddies, figure out the twists and turns, calculate the position of the likeliest channel or "gutter” that the gold would be gradually swept into, and then we are going to do a lot of sweating to prove our theories. Fascinating work? You bet it is! here, give me that pick and I shall make a start. Once we get through this heavy, top loam that is baked hard with the sun, progress will be fairly rapid. This is typical West Australian goldfields soil, rich and red and deep. And so through the morning, with the hole deepening and the sun rising to its zenith. Lunch under the shade of a leafy salmon-gum, the smoke of a fire lazing up into the scintillating blue of mid-day, the languid hush broken by the raucous cry of a jay. And then back to work, deepening the hole, sinking through layer after layer of drift-wash and clay, until finally a heavier, stiffer gravel is reached —the 'dinkum wash. There is a foot or more of this, and then the "bottom shows, pale green and softish, with smooth, water-washed undulations that please our professional eye. Interest quickens here. The wash-dirt is examined and pronounced fit to eat, the bottom is described as "beautiful.” The latter might be seen to dip towards one end of the hole, an indication that the deepest part of the gutter has been missed. That fact, however, does not worry us. If the gutter carries gold, signs will be given in this parcel of "dirt.” We shall unload the dry-blower and test our fortune. A bulky contrivance to lift out of the car, this, and one of sufficient delicacy to necessitate careful handling. But it is on the ground now. We shall stick the wheel in the sockets prepared and trundle it like a barrow over to the hole. Take the wheel out again and put it to one side, remove the sheet of tin protecting the ripple tray, and fill up the hopper with wash.

And now we are off! Shake, shake, shake, and with every push and pull of the handles the bellows are working, pumping blasts of air through the finely perforated bottom of the ripple tray, blowing the dust out of the sieved gravel that descends in a stream from the coarsely perforated hopper tray above, and slides slowly like an avalanche in miniature over the ripples, and so out to form a "tailing” heap in front of the machine. Gold particles, by reason of their weight, resist the urge of the draught and remain caught in the ripples. In a little while, the magnificent heap of wash-dirt which we have worked so hard to obtain has passed through the machine and is clogging the "blower” legs. Such gold as it might have contained is now resting among the gravel-filled ripples, or, if there be large nuggets, in the wide, shallow hopper tray, which, fed directly from the hopper itself, separates the “ The breeze blows the dust and finer particles of light gravel .. . but the gold and heavier stuff falls unerringly into the dish.” larger stones from the gravel and throws them out over the front of the machine. But a search there reveals nothing that gleams with that never-forgotten dullness of gold. Remains then the ripple tray, narrow and long, which slides out from its bed on top of the bellows and is carefully emptied into one of the two dishes. Standing sideways to the breeze, then, and holding the filled dish high, one cants it gently so that its contents cascade into the other dish at one’s feet. The breeze blows the dust and finer particles of light gravel out of the stream, but the gold and heavier stuff falls unerringly into the dish. The pans are reversed then, and the process continues until one is satisfied that no more clogging dust remains, and the real "panning off” begins. Back bent now and the half-filled dish held knee high, both hands gripping its steel sides as it is shaken vigorously to make such gold as it may contain sink to the bottom! Then the dish is lightened by skimming off the top layer of dirt. Again the pan is shaken and swirled, and again it is lightened by skimming off another layer. And so to the end, when little remains and no more skimming can be done without the risk of losing its hoped-for gold. By working the dish with a rotary motion, the little that is left is coaxed into one side of the pan. The pan is lifted close to the face then, and softly—oh, so very softly!—the residue of dirt is blown upon.

Ah! there shows a small gleaming "colour,” stolidly resisting the power that compels the dirt to roll back; there shows another, and another! Hold these three with the finger tips of the left hand, jerk the dish slightly to throw the dirt more flatly across the bottom of the pan, and blow again. Whoa, there! That’s better! The others were "fly-specks,” but here is a piece almost half an inch long. Not of much value, certainly—we doubt if it will weigh half a pennyweight—but it is an indication of possible riches not far away. Now which side of the hole did that piece come from? H’m, should have made two parcels of the wash and run them through separately. It might have come from the higher portion of the bottom, or more likely from the dipping corner. Well, all we can do is try both ends of the hole, put in a bit of a drive from that deepest side, perhaps, and cut right across the gutter. Or it may be that the rising side is merely an irregularity of the old river-bed; the bottom may dip again on that side? see, already the sun is near its setting, though it seems scarce an hour since we rose from lunch. We shall take a gun in search of rabbit or turkey, or perhaps a ’roo, returning as the shadows fade to kindle a fire of crackling boughs, knead and cook a johnny-cake, and eat heartily of our stores. And after wards we shall sit and smoke in the purpling dusk, while the gold and crimson of the afterglow fades and the stars commence looking down. From some distant ridge comes the cuckoo-like call of a mopoke; clear and far away sounds the lonely howl of a dingo; in a gimlet thicket near at hand a magpie flutters sleepily. And ever the twilight deepens and the glowing fire gleams redder, till at length a peaceful drowsiness steals over us and we wriggle happily into our blankets to sleep.

To-morrow —Ah, who knows what to-morrow may bring. And therein lies the thrill of gold-hunting. Though the days and the months and the years slide by, though Fortune smiles and frowns by turns, there remains always, face downwards, a card to be shown - - - Ah to-morrow!

Walkabout.Vol. 1 No. 8 (1 June 1935)

The Author and his dry-blower

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1631232709_panning.jpg

1631232734_after.jpg

https://nla.gov.au/nla


"Gold, ... Bright and yellow, hard and cold, Molten, graven, hammered or roll'd, Heavy to get and light to hold: Stolen, honored, bought and sold, Pride of many a mine untold."

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#37

Jemba
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Joined: 29 August 2016
Posts: 502
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12 September 2021 06:13 pm

Reminiscences OF A GOLD-DIGGER.

[From the S. M. HERALD.]

ON the: gold-fields, some few years ago, when the claims were much smaller than those allowed now, in consequence of the richness of the ground, scarcely a day passed but there were several disputes, and the commissioner was summoned to decide them, for at that time his decision was final, there being no local courts or mining boards as. there is at the present time. At the appearance of the commissioner, always on horseback with one of the mounted police as orderly, it was a signal for a rush of diggers tea claim in dispute, to hear the pros and cons, and pass remarks on the decision of the commissioner. Towards noon, one. day, the cry of “ Joe” passed along the lead I was working on—for at the sight. of a single policeman it was always thought there was to be a “ digger hunt,” that is, a search for licenses, and they scarce had entered a gully before “Joe “ was cried from one end to the other, and all those who were not in the possession of licenses either took to the bush or got down holes into drives to get out of the way, and so avoid a fine of £5 or imprisonment. In the claim I was working there was one long drive, or what, was considered a long drive in those days, and in a very few minutes some seven or eight men rushed up and taking hold of the rope, descended, well knowing that I had a license, and that on showing it to the policeman, it would, in a measure, satisfy him, for he no more dare descend a digger’s claim than he would attempt to fly-however great a suspicion he might have of there being diggers below. Happily these scenes have passed away, and “digger hunts” are only known of by the old diggers, or, as it is now the fashion to call them, gold miners. Without entering into the justice or policy of this tax, the means necessarily adopted for the collection of it appeared to be so despotic and repugnant to Englishmen, that a feeling of animosity and hatred was always felt and expressed towards the authorities; Nor was it surprising when it is considered that a large body of mounted and foot police all armed, used to perambulate the different. diggings once or twice a month, who, possessed of a little brief authority, used, with very few exceptions, to demand to see the licenses of men in no very polite terms, and take those in charge that could not produce them, place them between a troop of armed men, match them to the camp, the bulk of whom were guilty of one offence-poverty-that dissatisfaction and resistance should be shown can surprise no one The only surprise is, that more open resistance was not made; but that innate respect for the law when administered by Englishmen, although for a time despotic, was fully exemplified in these times, but with the increase of population, and the difficulty of all finding gold (for in the best days of digging there was always far greater number of unlucky diggers).

Instead of endeavoring to conciliate the diggers, the late lamented Sir Chiarloa ? lotham adopted the quarter-deck policy he had been so long’ used to, and issued. Orders to the various commissioners to increase these “ digger hunts ;” so that the diggers were always being harassed by the police. The policy eventually led to the Eureka Stockade, and riots at Ballarat, and the lamentable sacrifice of life, the proclamation of martial law, and the impossibility of getting jury of Englishmen to convict their fellowmen of any offence, after being goaded on to desperation. It is true they succeeded in establishing the supremacy of the law, only to acknowledge it was untenable, and that diggers were men, and had grievances, and by adopting a course of reason and justice, soon conciliated them. But on the Administrative power exercised in those days in Victoria, an indelible stain rests, and it will be very many years before that mistaken policy, and the butchery at the Eureka Stockade will cease to be spoken of, and history will hereafter point to it as a warning to those in possession of power of the great responsibility entrusted in their keeping, and the necessity of exercising it with discretion and mercy. But I am forgetting the disputed claim. When it was found it was only the commissioner to settle a dispute, the diggers left their-various hiding places, and a very formidable crowd soon collected. It would be impossible to convey a correct idea of the dispute; one party showed their pegs, pointed out the boundary of the claim; the other party as stoutly claimed them as being theirs; witnesses were brought on either side to state that they had seen each of the contending parties place the pegs, in; others that they had left the claim a day-for at this time any claim that was left four and twenty hours could be “jumped,”’ that is, any other. party could go into it. The commissioners had to be possessed of the greatest amount of patience, and to use their own judgment in the majority of cases, for the evidence given was generally so conflicting and contradictory that it was impossible to decide upon it,-and it must be admitted their decisions were generally considered correct, but once decided there was no appeal; an ad vantage, and a very great one, certainly not possessed under the present mining regulations.

After the decision, and the usual amount of threatening by the losing party of what they were going to do to the winning party, the crowd soon dispersed, knowing the men that had gained the claims, I spoke and said, “ Well, Walter, what sort of a claim have you got ? “ “ Pretty decent, H- ,” he replied; “I am just going to wash a tub; come and look at it.” And making our way some little distance from the claim to where he was washing, from about four buckets of dirt lie got some twenty ounces of gold. “Why, you have a ‘pile’ hole,” I exclaimed; “?’ he is working with you?” “ Only Jim’ an Sam,” he replied; “ if it only continues like this I shall go home and astonish some of my friends.” “I hope it may,” I replied, and returned to my own claim. James and Walter B- were brothers, and Samuel K--- was a cousin of theirs; they had been digging some time-but this was the first golden hole they had got. They were all respectable young men, and until their arrival on the gold-field, never knew what ‘manual labor was; but a stranger would never suppose they were relatives. James, the elder, was a determined, self-willed fellow, who must always have his own way-ever complaining and quarrelling with his brother. Walter was quite the reverse very quite and gentlemanly, constantly making excuses for James, and endeavoring to reason with him, but it seemed that he could not brook being spoken to-with that imperious temper, he considered his word was low, and although I believe lie had the greatest respect for his brother, his temper was such that he could not restrain himself.

After they had been working some few weeks, one Saturday, I went to their tent to learn how they had been doing. Walter showed me escort receipts for upwards of five hundred ounces of gold. “Well, Walter,” I said, “you have been doing a stroke. Do you mean to toll me that that is your share ;” for I noticed all the receipts were made out in his name only. “ Oh, no,” he replied, “this is Jim’s and mine.” “Well, he is a curious fellow,” I replied; “he is always quarrelling and’ calling you anything but a gentleman, and yet he leaves between two and three hundred ounces of gold in your hands.” “’Oh, you do! not know Jim H---,” he re plied: “ he does not mean what he says half his time, and when he gets in a passion he does-not know what he says. The first hundred ounces I deposited, I wanted him to come up with me and put fifty ounces in his own name; but lie got in a passion and asked me if I thought he was afraid of my robbing him, so that I have always deposited it in my own name.’ Next week I expect will finish the ‘claim, if so, we shall go down to Melbourne and go home. “ Sam will go with you I suppose,” I said. “ Well, I expect he will ; but he is getting rid of a- deal of gold, if he does go home, I don’t think he will have much more than a hundred ounces to take with him.” I was about leaving when Jim entered, and a general conversation ensued with respect to the claim, and as a matter of course a dispute ; Walter wanting Jim to put in some props to keep up the ground while they took out the last block, saying it was not safe, and Jim swearing that lie would not put any props in for it did-not require them, and taunting Walter with being afraid to work under ground., Walter made a few remarks; to which he replied, “ Well, if I am smothered, you have taken good care of the gold, so-you have no occasion to complain.” Walter could scarce reply; he tried to hide his emotions, and at last said: “Jim, I make every allowance I possibly can for you, and you should be the last to make such a remark. Come up to the Commissioner’s, and I will transfer your share. How many times have I asked you? but you. always refuse. I think you must be taking leave of your senses.” ‘ In the Commissioner’s,” he said, striking his hand violently on the table. “I dare you to rob me of a single penny.”

He was getting very excited, and I left; and, from his appearance, I was inclined to go farther than Walter, for I was of opinion he had quite lost his reason. I saw Walter the next” day, and told him what I thought, and asked him if he drank; he replied that he never touched liquor, that it: was only his nervous and passionate way-that he was all right then; but that ever since he had a fall from a horse some four years previously, his temper and disp6sition was completely changed. One day early in the following week I was at my own claim when Walter passed carrying two props. “so you are going to put some more timber in after all,” I cried out. “ Oh, yes,” he replied; “Sam says he will not work below without we do and Jim. swears they - shall not go in, so that Sam and I will have a. rare fight. There is only one little block, supporting near one half of the claim; I would not work under it for all the gold in the gully,” and away he went. It was about ten o’clock in the. morning, and the majority of diggers were on the top, for it was “smoke 0 !” that is a short spell, and a few draws of the pipe. In a few minutes there was a general rush to Walter’s claim. I went also, with a sort of presentiment that the ground had fallen in; nor was I mistaken. On Walter arriving at the shaft with the props, he called out, and getting no answer, looked down ; one side had caved in. He gave the alarm, and a general rush took place to the claim; two men descended, and, after a deal of trouble, succeeded in extricating Sam, who was almost smothered; he was badly crushed, and one of his arms broken. . We learnt from him that Jim was some twenty feet away from the shaft, and that the whole of the ground had fallen in.. In a very few minutes some score of diggers were engaged with pick and shovel, sinking a large hole, in the hopes that they would be enabled to save him. Being a question of life and death, all worked with astonishing determination. Men stood around eager to relieve them. After a few minutes of the hardest work, and in an in credibly short time, they succeeded in finding him, but alas, his career was finished; with his pick tightly grasped in one hand, his head pressed down to his feet (for when working he was sitting down, his legs under him); his back was broken, and he was so completely crushed and smothered, that his death must have been almost instantaneous. -Near him was a pannikin he always took down the shaft to put any small nuggets in that he might come across in knocking down the wash dirt. It contained some two or three ounces of gold. In one hand he held a small nugget of a few pennyweights, which he seemed to have been in the act of putting into the pannikin when the ground fell and crushed him to death. His remains were interred the next day, and Walter and Sam soon left for Melbourne.

About six years afterwards, whilst making some inquiries of the driver of a conveyance in which I was travelling, I was surprised on discovering him to be no other than Samuel K- . He told me that Walter had gone home, and that he knew nothing with respect to him. “ There was a letter advertised in the Melbourne list,” he continued, “ for me, but I did not see it until some months after, and I never applied for it, for I had got rid of my gold, and could not send home any good news; so that I expect they think I am dead; and perhaps it is quite as well, for my poor old mother, if she is alive, would be but little gratified to find that her favorite son in this land of gold was driving a conveyance for his living.”

J. A. H.
Examiner (Kiama, NSW : 1859 - 1862)

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/102519946

1631430733_3.jpg

http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/26007


"Gold, ... Bright and yellow, hard and cold, Molten, graven, hammered or roll'd, Heavy to get and light to hold: Stolen, honored, bought and sold, Pride of many a mine untold."

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#38

Jemba
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Joined: 29 August 2016
Posts: 502
Member
09 January 2022 10:43 am

HINTS TO PROSPECTORS.

Gold Is Where You Find It.

DEAR "John,"-Allow me to give a little advise to the uninitiated or unexperienced prospector. He -need not study geology. All ' that is required is plenty of luck and he must be a thorough optimist, fond of walking and must never get tired of breaking stones. If he has luck he may go blindfolded, get bushed' and his horse may kick him or his foot may kick against a stone that has gold in it. Some good shows have been discovered that way. No doubt hick is a, great asset in most everything, particularly so in prospecting for gold.

There have been men who have never been outside of a town or away from a farm, have gone, to the fields not knowing one stone from another and have found a -good show. Within a few months they were looked upon as being great authorities on gold ore, geological ! formations and have blossomed out into what was generally' called mining experts. Coming back to town they were sought out for their opinion or advice. They were introduced everywhere as the men who found such and such a show and disposed of it at a really high figure, even speculators took them in.

Therefore, prospectors, I can tell you that you never know how' far you can get by simply following the. game. Many have taken it on and never left off until they struck it rich or died. 'Some of them are still going on the outback fields. It is a very fascinating game! you never know when and how you strike it, there- fore never, be idle. If you go prospecting let it be alluvial or reefing. If the latter, 'go anywhere. Keep any stone be it white, black or otherwise and have a good look at it. You may see spots. All that glitters is not gold. Dolly the stones and if there are any prospects , look for more:

If you find anything to work on start on your best looking spot. Put in a costeen, that is a trench, across the country east to west as most of the reefs or lodes strike a northerly and southerly direction. Very few east to west carry gold. If you strike a reasonable or good show the experts can tell you their opinions and all the technical terms of rocks and they will be able to tell you where gold would be most prevalent. They will look wise and will tell you that you will have to do more work. They will put the compass on it and tell you how the lode or reef is bearing and when they see your prospects they will tell you to get an assay ¡ taken to make sure. I can tell you that : these experts are really clever once you find the gold. If you do not strike it rich keep on knapping more stones.

If you are looking for alluvial-that is free gold laying about in the soil or other- wise-look first at every little water- course in a dip or little basin or on a bend and if you locate fine gold go further up as the gold at the source is always coarser, (not as someone who issued a book on prospecting had told his readers to go down hill for the coarser gold). If the gold by the agency of water, eruption or wholesale movement, found its. way more into flat country there is more or less what is called a deep lead. The further you go out from the source the deeper you have to sink to where the deposit occurred or to the bottom of the lead. Again if you are lucky you may make good and strike - it in your first shaft or hole, but if the lead strikes a bar or stronger cross course it may turn off into somebody else's ground. If the ground around you is hot taken by others you «an drive or crosscut down below or sink another shaft. If you strike it first go you can tell others that it was your judgment and you can again become an expert.
I give all the foregoing information free and let me tell you there are hundreds of thousands of ounces of alluvial gold buried about Kalgoorlie alone for you or the experts to practice on. Be an optimist and have good luck but you have to Work and work hard.

GUS LUCK, Victoria Park.

P.S.-In sinking, driving or any other work on. reef or lode formation or for alluvial, whenever possible scratch up the fines on the floor and pan that off. If you do not get any gold prospects in that there is not much in the lode. etc. Alluvial scrapings should be left in air for some time.-G.I».

Western Mail
May 1941
http://newspapers.nla.gov.au/

1641686061_ie289734_fl290788.jpg.jpg

Prospectors panning for gold at Wenlock, Queensland, ca. 1930
https://digital.slq.qld.gov.au/delivery … d=IE289734

Last edited by Jemba (09 January 2022 10:56 am)


"Gold, ... Bright and yellow, hard and cold, Molten, graven, hammered or roll'd, Heavy to get and light to hold: Stolen, honored, bought and sold, Pride of many a mine untold."

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#39

Newprospect
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Joined: 16 November 2021
Posts: 117
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09 January 2022 12:41 pm

Very interesting, cheers thumbsup

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#40

Jemba
Member
Joined: 29 August 2016
Posts: 502
Member
10 January 2022 07:31 am

A Great Man with a Shovel

By ROBERT KENNEDY

Sitting on the wooden seat on the veranda of the Noondah pub, Jock Macpherson watched a tiny willy-willy frisk itself out of the street dust and spin down the road towards him, to peter- out at the foot of the steps in a flutter of paper scraps. “It reminds me of the time,” he said, “when a willy-willy carried Paddy Dalrymple’s hat and hung it on the tail of the windmill behind the Diorite pub.” None of the heat-weary men on the veranda said anything. “Paddy climbed up to get it,” Jock went on, “but he was always a clumsy cow, he fell off and hit the ground with the grace and ease of a bag of spuds. Even the old Missus, who ran the pub and was known to have a piece of diorite for a heart, was upset as we carried Paddy in. ‘l’ll get the poor creature a brandy,’ she said.

“ ‘lf it’s all the same to you, Missus,’ said Paddy, l’d as soon have a whisky.’ “So he missed the first free drink offered in Diorite for 40 years. He never could keep his mouth shut —and whenever he opened it, he couldn’t speak until he’d spat his foot out from the time before.’’ One of the men went into the bar and returned with a tray of beer. He was the only visible moving creature in Noondah. Jock took his glass, tasted it, and ran his tongue meditatively along his lips. “Well, go on,” said the man who’d bought the beer. “You might be able to make us forget it’s a hundred and fourteen in the bough-shed.” Well (said Jock), this Paddy Dalrymple was one of the best-known men on the West Australian goldfields in the early days—mainly because he did everything wrong. He was an Irishman, as big as a side of beef and somewhat the same color. He had muscles all over him that looked like the Leopold Ranges, and he could shift more dirt with a number-six shovel than any other two men in Kalgoorlie. He had a head of solid bone, which was just as well, because he had no brains inside to stop it collapsing. But that Paddy was a great man with a shovel, my word he was. About 1930, smack in the middle of the depression, he and I were out of Coolgardie, going down Norseman way. We were prospecting about, napping a few reefs here and there, and one afternoon I was specking along a bit of a creek bed, when I picked up a small nugget, not much more than half-an-ounce, but lovely, pure gold. Well, we got the dry-blower to work, and we shook half of Western Australia through it, but not a color did we raise. However, one smoke-oh time I noticed the cap of a reef sticking up about two chains down the gully. I napped a bit off and put it through the dolly-pot—and up in the dish comes a tail of gold that fairly screams four ounces to the ton. Paddy and I reckon we’re in.

We sink down on that reef at a speed that wouldn’t disgrace these modern Snowy River tunnellers, with visions of paying the storekeeper and retiring to Perth with a roll big enough to buy a pub, maybe. Then, about twenty feet down, with around ten tons of ore on the surface, the reef cut- out as though someone had sliced it off with a knife. We couldn’t believe it —but it was right enough. Must have been some shift in the formation years ago that left our reef just a pocket of stone sitting by itself. I tell you, our spirits were low that night. You might even say our throats were too tight and dry to talk. A man got up and filled the glasses. Of course (Jock went on), we went down a bit more, and tried driving out a bit to see if we could pick it up, but not a sign. So we took our small parcel in to the battery at Coolgardie and had it put through. We got thirty-five ounces out of the ten tons, which was a help, but we weren’t in any sound financial state when we stood at the bar of the Denver City that night after the clean-up at the battery.

T'HE storekeeper was happier than he had been and we had a couple of drums of petrol and two new tyres on the back of the utility, but we had only a few quid for drinking-money in our pockets when this bloke comes up to us. “Mr. Macpherson and Mr. Dalrymple?” he says. “Yes,” I says. “Have a drink.” “Thank you,” he says, “a small beer. I represent an English mining company which is interested in acquiring proven leases in this area and I heard at the State battery today that you have had quite a good crushing.” “That’s right,” said Paddy, “but ...” “But,” I says, stepping between Paddy and the English-man, and elbowing the idiot Irishman in the solar plexus, “I don't know that we’d be thinking of selling.” Well, there it was: a ray of sunshine; only a feeble ray, but strengthened a bit by the discovery that the Pommie was on the business-end of his company, and knew nothing about mining as such. To cut a long story short, we arranged to take the Pom out to the show and I carted Paddy off and gave him a lecture that even he could understand: he wasn’t allowed to say anything. Next morning we drove out, and I told Paddy to boil the billy at the camp and give the Pom a mug of tea while I raced over to the shaft and scuffled around in the mullock for a few samples of the reef. There weren’t many, because we’d picked over the dump pretty thoroughly to get every ounce into our crushing, but I found a few pieces which I threw down the shaft. Back at the camp we had our tea, then we took the Pom over. He looked at the hundred-odd tons of mullock like the new-chum he was while I gave him a spiel about the ease of sinking a shaft in such good country. Then we went down the shaft and, with Paddy’s great box-head almost blocking out the sunlight as he peered down at us, I pointed out to the Pom the drives we’d made and told him they were “developmental works aimed at facilitating production of ore.” He took it all in, watched with interest while I napped hard at the rock face and didn't notice that the specimens I picked up were the bits I’d chucked down earlier. On the surface he asked a few questions while Paddy dollied the samples, and was suitably impressed by the tail of gold which turned-up in the dish. Then we went back to the camp for crib, and the sale seemed to be sewn-up. At which point, the Pom turned out not to be as silly as he looked —which was probably just as well for his mother’s peace of mind, if not for ours. We got around to the question of price. I tried to ask a figure which would get us all the traffic would bear, but not so big that it would become a major deal, and I picked wrong. I asked for a thousand-quid. The Pom’s eyes hooded straight away.

“Well, Mr. Macpherson,” he said, “that seems a very reasonable price. Very reasonable indeed.” You could almost hear him saying, “Too reasonable.” I cursed myself for having laid on the sales-talk too thick. “Of course, you understand,” he went on, “that I am only on the business side. I’ll accept your offer. But, naturally, the acceptance will be contingent on an examination of the mine by the company’s mining-engineer.” Out went our ray of sunshine. I could have cried, only I was too dry. Another man rose and refilled the glasses. However (Jock continued), I did the best I could. I argued that we couldn’t wait; that a show going three to four ounces to the ton wasn’t on the market every day; that we wanted settlement there and then. But I couldn’t win, though 1 did get one concession : he would lodge with our bank in Coolgardie a company cheque for a thousand pounds, post-dated a month, and if he hadn’t withdrawn acceptance by then, the deal would go through, the acceptance not to be withheld unless the engineer reported the mine was not as stated by us. On that basis, we drove him back to Coolgardie, where he lodged the cheque, rang his headquarters in Perth, and told us the mining-engineer would be up in three weeks and we were to meet him and take him out to the show. The only good thing in the day was the look on the face of our bank manager, Mick McMullin, “Can you navigate ?” when he saw the cheque. He looked like a child who’s been told that Christmas Day comes twice a year. Then he looked at the date .... Neither of us said much on the way back to the show.
Even Paddy realised that that cheque for a thousand pounds — and a thousand quid was a power of money in those days — wasn’t worth the paper it was written on. It would take a mining-engineer about ten minutes flat to work out that we’d salted the mine for the Pom, and that’d be that. Back at the camp we wandered over and looked at the show. Spread in an even pile around the mouth of the shaft to about four feet high was a hundred tons or so of mullock, the result of our sinking on the reef and the extra sinking and driving we’d done trying to find the reef. Down the shaft was nothing but a few million tons more mullock, none of it worth a cracker. And in my mind I could hear Mick McMullin saying, “Well, this isn’t any use any more,” and I could see him tearing up that cheque worth a thousand lovely fiddlies. It was a sober moment. Nobody moved. “I said,” said Jock, “it was a sober moment.” Reluctantly, a man got up and filled the glasses. “That’s the last until the end,” someone grumbled. The sun was nearly down behind Mt. Noondah. Anyway (Jock went on), we fiddled around for the three weeks, and did a bit more digging in the hope we might strike the reef again, but all we achieved was another fifty tons of mullock on the surface. When the time came to meet the mining-engineer, I drove into Coolgardie, leaving Paddy at the show, my heart as heavy as the black clouds hanging down almost on the bonnet of the old ute. It doesn’t rain much in these parts, but you know how sometimes there’s a boomer of a sharp storm, and that's what we had that night. For about thirty minutes it fairly poured down in buckets, and I was glad to get to the Denver City, because the roof on the old bus wasn't particularly waterproof.

The mining - engineer was waiting—he'd come down from Kalgoorlie in the afternoon and we met-up and had a few drinks and a bit of a yarn and arranged to get away after breakfast. I didn’t mention the mine and neither did he, but one look at him was enough to finish me. He was a tough, wiry bloke with eyes as bright as pyrites and just about as cold-looking; the sort of bloke who'd have had his mother cowed from the age of three. Right away I wiped off our last lingering hopes. Next morning, on the way out, everything was bright and shiny, and except that the salt-bush and mulga and salmon gums were washed clean, you wouldn’t have known there’d been any rain in the storm the night before. We didn’t talk much on the way out; I was trying to think. I nearly came out and told him he was wasting his time, but I chewed the words off. You’ve got to keep hoping, and there was just a chance I might be able to convince him the reef could be found again. But a sneaking look at the dingo-trap he had for a mouth didn’t fill me with much hope. When we got to the camp Paddy was finishing his breakfast washing-up, which wasn’t like him; he usually up before the crows. He looked a bit odd, too. Tired. Almost old. And his arms hung slack at his sides like the great ape he was.

As we got out he came shambling over and I introduced the engineer. “G’day,” said Paddy, “but I’m afraid you’re wasting your time coming here.” “Just a minute, Paddy,” I said, fighting to the last. “The engineer hasn’t had a chance to look at it yet, and” — “That’s why I mean,” said Paddy. “And he won’t get the chance. Not for a few weeks, anyway.” “Why?” snapped the engineer, who didn’t waste words. “Because,” said Paddy, “the shaft is full to the neck with water.” There was a small silence, in which you could have heard a dolly-pot drop. The engineer looked quickly around, and said: “Nonsense. You could sink to a thousand feet around here and not strike a drop of water.” He was quite right of course. He was no fool; he knew geology. “Maybe that’s right,” said Paddy, “but this water came from up above. We had a storm last night and it' filled the shaft.” He walked over and had a look. Sure enough, the shaft was full of water to within three feet of the top. “There must be a fault in the formation hereabouts that let the water in,” I said quickly. “This, of course, will be a simple matter for your company to overcome, and doesn’t alter the undoubted richness and value of the mine by a penny, as you will realise.” “Where do you get your drinking-water from?” said the engineer, taking no notice of me. “From a station-well ten miles away,” I said. “We bring it over in a forty-four gallon drum.” “Well, you couldn’t have filled it that way,” he said. “No car-tracks to the shaft, anyway.” For the first time since I’d met him, and probably for the first time in his life, he looked uncertain. Indeed he looked baffled and so did I. Everything was just as I’d left it the night before. From ground level, the dump of mullock around the shaft opening hid the only change, that the shaft was full of water. “I don’t know how you did it,” said the engineer, “but it leaves the three-card trick for dead.”

I looked at him, and for the first time he looked human. Even a bit of a twinkle was in his eyes. “Now, wait a minute,” I said. “We can’t be blamed for this. I swear that that shaft was dry when I left yesterday afternoon. How it got filled with water I don’t know. But the water certainly doesn’t decrease the value of the mine, a value proved by the crushing we had a month ago, and demonstrated to your company’s representative here on the site three weeks ago.” I was hot on the track now. But the engineer was unimpressed. He was looking at the ore-bucket, which was full of holes. “No chance of bailing it out dry enough to allow a proper inspection, even if we could make a decent bucket,” he said. “And in this country it’ll take weeks to seep away. I guess that’s it.” We went back to the camp for some crib. Paddy was saying nothing. The engineer was saying nothing; he was trying to work it out, you could see. I was doing plenty of talking, making all the points that the deal would have to stand. “All right, you win,” said the engineer. “I’ll report to the company that I couldn’t make the inspection because of the water, but I’ll make it clear that I can’t work-out how the water got there, in this type of country. They’ll probably go on with the deal, because they’re a big company and a thousand quid means very little to them, and they’ve got the figures of your crushing. So you’re in. Now —tell me how you did it.” Of course, I couldn’t. It was a miracle, although I didn’t put it in those words. I didn’t trust him as far as I could kick him, and I was never any good at football.

We took him back to Coolgardie and set him down, then went around to make sure Mick McMullin would have our cheque on the doorstep of the company’s bank on settling-day. He was so carried away he gave us another twenty-five quid on the overdraft and we went to the pub. Paddy was still saying nothing at all. “I can’t understand it,” I said. “Now tell me, Paddy— have you got any idea how it happened?” “Of course I have,” said Paddy. “I did it with a shovel.” I had a good look at him. He certainly looked exhausted, but as sane as usual—well, no sillier, lets say. Then I got it all from him: he’d seen the rain coming, and a brilliant flash has penetrated that thick Irish head. I told you the shaft was sunk in a gully—well, Paddy realised the gully would run a snap flood in the storm, He grabbed a shovel, hiked to the shaft, and shovelled the mullock-dump away on the upstream side, so that the water ran straight into the shaft. The water was shed into the gully from miles back, so there was plenty to fill it up. It was, if you’ll excuse the long word, a prodigious feat, From the time the rain looked likely until the water started to run, Paddy hadn’t much more than an hour to shift about forty tons of stone out of the way. And then, of course, when the shaft was full, he had to shovel it all back again, just the way it was, No wonder he looked tired, I tell you that Paddy Dalrymple was the greatest man with a shovel that ever lived, There was a bit of a silence, then someone, getting up to refill the glasses, asked: “What did the mining-company do?’’ Well, now, said Jock, when they discovered they’d been taken-in they sent the mining- engineer back, and he did a geological survey and they moved up the hill, banged down another shaft, found the reef, and won nearly half-a-million quid’s worth of gold before it finally cut-out. But that’s not the point of the story: I’ve been telling you about Paddy Dalrymple, the greatest man with a shovel the world has ever seen.

The bulletin.Vol. 81 No. 4189 (25 May 1960)
https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-684074343

1641760252_nla.obj-684074343-34.jpg


"Gold, ... Bright and yellow, hard and cold, Molten, graven, hammered or roll'd, Heavy to get and light to hold: Stolen, honored, bought and sold, Pride of many a mine untold."

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#41

Jemba
Member
Joined: 29 August 2016
Posts: 502
Member
14 January 2022 11:25 am

THE STOLEN SHEEP

[FOR THE BULLETIN.]

Say, mate, it’s a tidy long stretch since we parted near old Lambin’ Flat; Twenty years? - Yes, I reckon it is, and a sprinklin’ of odd ’uns on that. Let’s see—after you with the light—l’ve a fancy ’twas sometime about A day or so after the time old Tommy the butcher pegged out. What ! don’t you remember old Tommy? Why all on the diggin’s knew him— Had a butchery down the main Creek, pretty nigh to the Company’s whim ; A small, wizened runt of a man like a shrivelled up scrap of green-hide—I thought you would call him to mind—did they ever find out how he died ? No ? never got trace of his carcase from that day to this. Umph—that’s queer, But I fancy there’s one man about who could soon make the mystery clear.

Foul play ?—h’m—well no, not exactly, that is if it’s murder you mean ; But as cheesey a case for a cor’ner as ever Ned Tucker has seen. P’rhaps now you would-n’t believe that I helped to put Tommy away, Oh, you needn’t be starin’ like that though you feel a bit shocked, I dare say. But listen: It’s safe now, I reckon, to let the cat out of the bag, And I know you of yore pretty well as a fellow not given to nag.

Well, you see ’twas on old Possum Flat we were workin’, Jim Clinton and I Both lime-burners right from the start, so, of course, it was Root, hog —or die ; But after a-bottomin’ duffers for five or six weeks at a spell We were not only down at the mouth but were down at the heel, mate, as well. Not a scrap in the tucker-bag left, and not even the price of a feed, With our credit all stopped at the stores and no friend to be found in our need, And the hunger a-gnawin’ our in’ards and givin’ us rats all the day, Though we pulled in our belts a bit tighter a-thinkin’ to ease it that way. So at last we got puzzlin’ our wits ’bout makin’ a rise in the dark ; And of all other men we considered old Tommy our easiest mark.

We didn’t half relish the notion, and there was, you may safely depend, A fight betwixt hunger and conscience, but conscience gave up in the end. So we laid both our noddles together and faked up a dodge pretty slick. To wait on the butcher that evenin’ with an order for mutton—on tick— That’s to put a good face on it, matey. How somever, one part of our plan Was to borrow a small-wheeled toboggan from a cove that they called Curly Dan. You recollect Dan, I suppose?—a short, stiff- built style of a chap, Who used to hawk cow-heel and tripe in a queer little box of a trap. Well, the dead of the night found us there with the barrow all ready at hand. And our hearts goin’ thumpity-thump, that shaky we scarcely could stand. we hadn’t much trouble in forcin’ and enterin’ into his den— As you know, they weren’t over-perticler about their door-fastenin’s then— So in I goes, clawin’ and gropin’, whilst Clinton kept watch in the street, And it seemed that each carcase and quarter was wrapped in a calico sheet. I didn’t stand pickin’ and choosin’ to get at the best in the stall, But made a wild grab for the nearest and lugged it away, hook and all, And staggerin’, half-starved as I was, with the slippery load on my back, I slung it down flop in the cart and we trundled away down the track.

It was not till we reached the old tent that we ventured to peep at our prize— I’v seen some queer things in my travels, but never a worse met my eyes. Ugh ! it makes me feel all of a creep when I think of the horrible sight. Jumpin’ Joss!” says I, “what have we here?’’ when a puff o’ wind blows out the light. And there I stands shakin’ and quakin’, whilst Jim was knocked all of a heap, For the thing that we saw in the barrow was not in the form of a sheep. No ; but there in a greasy old night-shirt that covered him down to his toes, With a rope round his thin, stringy neck, and all blue at the gills and the nose, And his eyes like the eyes of a grasshopper, a startin’ right out of his head.

Lay the scraggy old scrubber himself, lad, was Tommy, the butcher, stark dead. There was nothin’ else for it, of course, but to plant his old carcase and slide, But as neither of us had the stummick to handle his cold, clammy hide. We backed the cart up to a shaft, and just tilted him in neck-and-crop And never cried crack till we’d shovelled a cartload of mullock on top. Then we run the truck into the scrub, packed our blueys and went on a tower, “ Jumpin' Joss!" says I, “what have we here?” And paid all our debts with the storekeeps at the rate of about five mile an hour ; But the devil knows how we’d have fared if we hadn't met you on the way And—well that was the end of old Tommy; so here’s to his ashes I say !
Richmond, Vic.

TOM FREEMAN.

CHRISTMAS NUMBER OF THE BULLETIN Vol. 11 No. 618 (19 Dec 1891)
https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-488979849

1642119913_nla.jpg


"Gold, ... Bright and yellow, hard and cold, Molten, graven, hammered or roll'd, Heavy to get and light to hold: Stolen, honored, bought and sold, Pride of many a mine untold."

2 users like this post: mbasko, Diginit

#42

Jemba
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Joined: 29 August 2016
Posts: 502
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Yesterday 08:47 am

Home Town of "Waltzing Matilda" The Swagman at the North Gregory

By BERYL KENNEDY

THE little town of Winton in mid-western Queensland (population 1800) has been doing itself proud with a new civic hotel, rising in super-phoenix splendor, at a cost of £150,000, from the famous old North Gregory. It’s to be the finest country pub in the State; a boon when they repair thither for business and relaxation to the bush folk of that vast open plain into which Winton seems to be just dumped. They cheerfully parted with an extra £25,000 in rates to hasten on the job.

The new hostelry (there are four others) offers the last word in comfort, with an infallible air-conditioning system, and even a rumpus-room for the “tough boys" at the back of the luxurious bar. The go-ahead character of Winton, which prospers with the large sheep stations around it and suffers with them in the cruel droughts of a particularly dry region, seemed to invite a search into this small town’s early history, and this unearthed from Brisbane’s Oxley Library The Reminiscences of W. H. Corfield, 1862-1899.

Corfield’s life from 1878 was linked with Winton. He and his partner Fitzmaurice were teamsters on the grand scale, carrying to every goldfield in North Queensland. In July, 1878, they set out from Townsville, crossing the divide between the Landsborough and Diamantina Rivers, and travelled down by Jessamine and Mills Creeks to the Western River. Here, at Pelican Springs, they found that an ex-sergeant-of-police, R. Allen, had established a hotel and store, to serve teamsters travelling through with loadings for the immense scattered holdings recently settled. Liking the look of Pelican Springs, they decided to try their luck there, too, and built their hotel, the North Gregory, in 1879. As timber was almost non-existent, the floors were puddled with mud; gins, with piccaninnies on back for extra weight, stamped it down. ,

By 1880 Pelican Springs was making progress, for there were six or seven houses and a police-station, though no lock-up; prisoners, mainly aborigines, were chained to a log until they could be taken to Blackall. During this year the natives made a last protest and some mutual massacring ensued. About 1882 the inevitable Chinaman appeared, soon followed by many others. Also, a school and hospital were built and another hotel, the Royal Mail —this one by Mr. and Mrs. Lynett, who arrived at Pelican Springs at the same time as Corfield and Fitzmaurice.

It was said that all graziers from the Lower Diamantina stayed at the Royal Mail and drank rum, and all from the Upper Diamantina at the North Gregory and drank whisky. Bob Allen, the first resident, was made postmaster, and Pelican Springs became Winton at his suggestion. The streets were named after the chief stations in the district: Vindex, Elder she, Cork, Dagworth, Sesbania, Werna, Oondooroo, Manuka. Corfield, who soon became the leading citizen and first representative of Gregory in the Queensland Parliament, sold his hotel to a colorful figure named W. Browne Steele, who liked to be known as the George Adams of the West. He ran exciting and very popular sweepstakes. Late in 1882 the first clergyman to visit the place held a service in the North Gregory billiard-room, creating an atmosphere by draping the billiard-table in a blue blanket and the cue-rack in a red one. The kitchen bullock-bell was rung to summon worshippers, and the Chinese cook, a sporting character, said “Waffor? ’Nother laffle? All li. Put me down a pound.”

Cobb and Co.’s mail-service started in 1880, the drivers vying with one another for the handsomest team. , Corfield gives a graphic description of two coaches entering from opposite roads, one drawn by perfectly-matched greys, the other by spanking chestnuts. By 1886 the town had forged ahead; the “Winton Herald” was established, and roller-skating was the rage when Corfield returned from a trip abroad. As he passed the empty Court House he glimpsed the P.M. practising with buffer pillows strapped to neck and lower region of his spine.

When the North Gregory was only 16 years old “Banjo” Paterson came to stay with the McPhersons of Dagworth station, where he was told the tale of the swagman who, when found with a purloined jumbuck, jumped into Combo waterhole. For the first time he heard the music of “Craigie-lea,” played by Miss McPherson, his fancy at once caught by its provocative lilt. With the new term “Waltzing Matilda” also teasing the poet’s mind, the famous song was as good as made. There have been endless arguments in North Gregory bars and lounges as to where exactly the song was played and sung for the first time, for a party from Dagworth returned with Paterson to Winton, some staying at the hotel and some with the poet at Mrs. Riley’s, formerly of Vindex, there being a piano at each place.
As “Waltzing Matilda” leaped into nation-wide popularity, Winton rejoiced in being its birthplace, and as the years have gone, as they do for country pubs, with exciting annual events, a fire or two, and occasionally a famous guest like Dr. Thomas Wood, Paterson’s favorite ballad has always been remembered at the North Gregory, and sung by all sorts of men.

And now the swagman has come to stay, for when the shire’s consulting engineer. Jack Mulholland, with a passion for Paterson, was planning the new hotel, he suggested that the council ask Daphne Mayo to make four bronze panels for the heavy oak front-door, each depicting a verse of “Waltzing Matilda.” Miss Mayo has, also designed three scenes to be sand-blasted and used singly on the many big glass-doors. These portray, first, the swaggie again, secondly the district’s primary industries, and thirdly Qantas, for in 1920 this now-familiar name came into existence at the first directors’ meeting in the North Gregory, though Longreach was soon made its headquarters.
A grand new swimming-pool appears on the same plan as the new hotel, to be built about 200yds. away. Between these two will be a wading-pool, shaped like a billabong, with a handsome large coolibah waiting there already in the right spot. It is hoped that later a statue of a swagman can be placed there, perhaps a national offering to the “Banjo,” who loved the West and its men and horses.

The bulletin.Vol. 75 No. 3881 (30 Jun 1954)
https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-547494668

Life on the road for the swagman and the Overland, Bluff Rock, 1923

1642283202_ie289410.jpg

https://digital.slq.qld.gov.au/cantalou … efault.jpg


"Gold, ... Bright and yellow, hard and cold, Molten, graven, hammered or roll'd, Heavy to get and light to hold: Stolen, honored, bought and sold, Pride of many a mine untold."

2 users like this post: Mackka, Diginit

#43

Mackka
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From: Brisbane
Joined: 18 February 2014
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Yesterday 09:54 am

Another fantastic story Jemba.
I had the privilege of meeting a Swaggy as a very young boy on the banks of the Cudgegong River when i was about 5 years old. His name was Nobby and he asked my Dad whether there was any chance of getting a plate of stew. He stayed that night and was gone by morning. My Dad and “ Uncle” Bob were panning for gold and filling little medicine bottles with nuggets. I can still remember seeing them sitting on the windowsill and The golden shade they cast on the wall as the sun penetrated the clear glass.
Mackka

1 user likes this post: Jemba

#44

Jemba
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Joined: 29 August 2016
Posts: 502
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Yesterday 07:19 pm

Thanks Mackka. Yep I love the old yarns too. thumbsup I usually down load a heap of them to a USB, just for a bit of a read when out bush. cheers mate

Last edited by Jemba (Yesterday 07:22 pm)


"Gold, ... Bright and yellow, hard and cold, Molten, graven, hammered or roll'd, Heavy to get and light to hold: Stolen, honored, bought and sold, Pride of many a mine untold."

1 user likes this post: Mackka

#45

Jemba
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Joined: 29 August 2016
Posts: 502
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Today 08:19 am

"Old Tom."

(FOR THE BULLETIN.)

Conspicuous amongst the “ originals ” so frequently met with at the old-time rushes was a tall, spare, elderly man with a slight stoop and a long, full, white board. Of a kindly disposition and quiet demeanour, “Old Tom,” as he was usually designated, was liked and respected by all who knew him. He was an enthusiastic spiritualist, and although silent and reserved in general conversation, would hold forth by the hour on his favourite doctrine, whenever he could get a sympathetic audience. He was generally considered to be “ off’ his chump,” as the diggers phrased it, and, in view of his antecedents, they were probably not far wrong. Be that as it may, many a merry hour they enjoyed at what came in time to be known as old Tom's “services.” He had a small annuity, sufficient for his few requirements and frugal habits, and so he had ample leisure to follow the sent of his inclinations. These lay chiefly in using the “ planchette," whereby he had accumulated a vast pile of manuscript, which, being all but illegible, might fairly be described as being “of no use to any one but the owner.” As might be expected, he had to put up with a lot of chaff now and then, but beyond an occasional “ Weel, Tom, old man, hoo aboot the sperrits noo?” and the like, which good-humoured interrogatories Tom would answer by a kindly nod and a twinkle in his grey eye, his general inoffensiveness and simplicity of character compelled consideration from the most thoughtless or facetiously inclined.

On line days he would come sauntering up the “lead," and seating himself on a log open out a package of manuscript, much to the delight of the surrounding “ shepherds,” who, scenting a “ service,” would speedily gather about the old man from all the adjacent claims. “ gentlemen,” he would, begin, “with your permission I will read a few of my latest p’anche grams.” Tom’s funny pronunciation of this new compound of his own coinage would invariably evoke a burst of laughter, and amid a chorus of encouraging cries to “fire away, old brusher, ” “Were in, Tom,’’ and so forth —he would go through his paper in quiet earnest tones ; and being a good elocutionist would usually command the attention of his carers till he had finished reading, when he would wind up with a dissertation on the “ spheres ” or kindred matter, until shepherding hours were o' - — "ud it was time to go nome. But the “ services ” were not always so decorously conducted. Occasionally the paper he chanced to read would contain so many absurdly ludicrous images that the uproarious demonstrations of his congregation would prove too much for even old Tom’s patient equanimity, and he would reluctantly roll up his papers and depart with a grave and sorrowful mien. The venerable figure of old Tom is no longer to be met with on the ‘ leads,” for he has gone to those “spheres” he so dearly loved to talk of. I will now relate a brief passage in his life, which may serve' to throw some light on the vagaries of his later years.

Second Part.

Many years ago, in the good old times when “Old Tom’’ was still young and gold plentiful and much easier to find than now-a-days—worse luck —he and his brother Dick had a rich claim on one of the great alluvial rushes of the day. The depth of the shaft was (ill feet, and the brothers had hired a casual acquaintance named Ben. to assist at the windlass ; having now nearly worked out, they had plenty of stowage-room, so, except for the wash-dirt, the hauling was over, and they all worked below. Having a roomy tent, the three men lived together, and, to save time, it was customary for Tom to go home and prepare dinner, and when it was ready to return and call the others. On a certain day he went home as usual, leaving Dick at work knocking down washdirt, A very little way behind him Ben. was stowing mullock, and ramming it home by means of a short heavy wooden rammer—with the twofold object of securing the roof and economising room. The “ dirt” proved exceptionally rich, and Dick told Ben. to come and see a nugget he had just picked out. Ben. crawled over, taking the rammer with him, and looked at the gold. It was about the size of a hen’s egg slightly flattened. Whilst Dick, with head bent-down, was admiringly regarding it, and conjecturing its weight, Ben., drawing back a and raising the hammer, dealt him a tremendous blow on the nape of the neck. Without a sound the body sank on its side. Ben. took off his cap, wiped the perspiration from his brow, and, stretching out his arm, turned the dead man on his back, and looked at him attentively. Raising his shirt he undid a broad chamois-leather belt with pockets surrounding it at intervals —an article in common use by the diggers of the days when banks were not—and pulling it from under the body fastened it round his own. He listened. The hook was jingling against the end of the shaft, Tom was shaking the rope- the signal for dinner. Shouting' up the usual “all right!” he went to the “stowage” and threw out rapidly about a cartload of stuff. In the cavity he placed the dead Hick in a sitting posture, and, having made scarcely room enough, leaned his back against a prop, and with his feet jammed the limbs hard up. Then he threw back the stuff, covering up his handiwork thoroughly, squared up the margin of the mullock, and ran his shovel lightly over the soft rock floor, carefully obliterating any unusual marks. After a final searching look all round, to make quite certain he had over looked nothing, he put the nugget in his pocket, extinguished the light, and went up the shaft.

When he got home he told Tom that his brother had taken a pick to the. smith to get laid and steeled, and as he might begone for a considerable time they need not wait for him. Accordingly, dinner over, the two men returned to work. On their way back they passed a crowd looking at a dog-fight; a man stepped out and accosted Ben., but Tom kept on to the claim and went down the shaft. Now, during the interval of the dinner-hour a curious thing quite unforeseen by Ben. had happened. Owing to the relaxation of the muscles one of the dead man’s limbs had straightened out. Therefore when Tom lit his candle and began to crawl along the drive his eye all at once fell upon this strange object protruding from the mullock. He stopped—fascinated, failing to comprehend. For a second or two he remained motionless, as a man who comes suddenly upon a snake- then, as the fearful truth of murder broke upon him, he drew back into the shaft, confused and terrified, for he felt that his own life, too, hung trembling in the balance. At that moment, the oscillating rope and some falling particles of rock, proclaimed that Ben. was coming down. By a supreme effort Tom subdued his agitation, and springing into the steps, shouted to Ben. in as steady tones as he could command, to go back, that he had left his purse on the table, and was coming up to go home for it. Ben., confident that all was secure below, returned to the top, while Tom, with great difficulty, continued his ascent. On reaching the surface he rested for a moment, averting his head to hide his grim resolve and the tell-tale pallor of his face. Then, with a quick glance around to make sure of assistance, he scrambled to his feet, and making a desperate rush at Ben., bore him to the ground, shouting - , “Help! murder! help!” The diggers in the vicinity ran to the spot and seized the murderer.

Tom's fast-failing strength enabled him to tell his story as darkness fell upon him, and they carried him away for medical aid. When I say that the severe mental shock he had sustained necessitated his removal to an asylum for a few months; that Ben. was executed, and that the money and gold for which he bartered his life, proved the source of Tom’s income during the remainder of his days, I think I have told all I know about “ Old Tom.”

J. LYALL

The bulletin.Vol. 11 No. 535 (17 May 1890)
https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-443670219

A gold miner using a sluice box at Nullagine, 1916

1642367855_slwa_b2600762_1.jpg

https://purl.slwa.wa.gov.au/download/sl … 0762_1.jpg

Note: a shepherd was a man set to watch a claim not been worked, but would be soon.!


"Gold, ... Bright and yellow, hard and cold, Molten, graven, hammered or roll'd, Heavy to get and light to hold: Stolen, honored, bought and sold, Pride of many a mine untold."

2 users like this post: Mackka, aussiefarmer

#46

Mackka
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From: Brisbane
Joined: 18 February 2014
Posts: 6,456
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Today 09:02 am

Another ripping yarn Jemba, thanks very much.
Mackka

1 user likes this post: Jemba

#47

Jemba
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Joined: 29 August 2016
Posts: 502
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Today 09:18 am

Thanks mate thumbsup I will be away now for a bit post more when I get back. cheers mate

Last edited by Jemba (Today 09:19 am)


"Gold, ... Bright and yellow, hard and cold, Molten, graven, hammered or roll'd, Heavy to get and light to hold: Stolen, honored, bought and sold, Pride of many a mine untold."

1 user likes this post: Mackka

#48

Mackka
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From: Brisbane
Joined: 18 February 2014
Posts: 6,456
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Today 10:27 am

Best Wishes for 2022 Jemba and Stay safe.
Cheers mate
Mackka


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